Learning - Finding Direction -1

I continue to be impressed with the vast amount of information and experience on this forum. I am still seeking my path and wanted to share my experience in hopes it may help those who come behind.
I was walking in a neighborhood next to mine and noticed a house with a For Rent sign in the window. The yard and carport looked like it had been quite a while since anyone had lived in the house. I took down the number and immediately checked out everything I could about the property online. I discovered that the owner owned the adjacent vacant lot as well as another house. Digging a little deeper, I discovered that he had not paid last years taxes on any of the properties. :biggrin Sounds like an opportunity to me! I called the numbers on the For Rent sign and left a message but got no call back after a week. :banghead Next I wrote a letter to the owner indicating I might be interested in purchasing the rental house and mailed it to the PO Box address from the online tax site. Success. The owner called me and said he would be very interested in selling and we arranged a meeting at the property. The property was in good shape but really needs updating. Seems he and his mother had lived in the house until she passed away. He then married, moved to a nearby town. His wife passed away about 3 years ago and he had lost a lot of his interest in fooling with rentals. He then offered me both houses and the building lot for $250,000.

From my research, I knew I could make the numbers work and have about a $200 per month positive cash flow from both houses but reading his expressions, I knew I could do better. He gave me a key so I could look around and bring my partner (wife) to look it over. I took advantage of the opportunity and had a friend/mentor go by and look at the house also. There is an almost identical house in the same neighborhood that is up for sale - $72,000 or Make an Offer! I had shyed away for this one because it was in such bad shape. Needs $20 - $30,000 in improvements. After examining both properties my mentor gave me an education. He said if I bought the first house ($100 - $110K) I would still need to upgrade at some point ($5 -$10K). If I bought the fixer-upper for, let’s say $50K and put $30K worth of repairs in it, I would have the same house - but updated for $20 - $30K less, doubling or tripling my positive cash flow. :shocked I hadn’t looked at it that way! Still considering, but wanted to share this educational experience. :beer